Israel has released the first image of an air force Boeing F-15D fighter carrying a Rafael Blue Sparrow target missile, developed to test the capabilities of improved versions of the country's Israel Aerospace Industries-built Arrow anti-ballistic missile system.

The new-generation target is a further growth of the Black Sparrow previously used during Arrow testing. Acting as a surrogate ballistic missile target, the air-launched device simulates the altitude, velocity, thermal characteristics and radar cross-section of threats such as the Shihab-3 intercontinental-range ballistic missile manufactured by Iran.

Black Sparrow

 © Rafael

According to Rafael, the Blue Sparrow can also simulate the carriage of a chemical or high-explosive warhead and has a post-boost three-axis attitude control system and mid-air pointing capability.